I haven’t blogged for a while - sorry about that! This year has been incredibly busy and being in lockdown hasn’t slowed things down.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been working on an MVP within the finance sector. It’s been a great opportunity to take on a DevOps role, scaffolding the infrastructure in GCP via Terraform, crafting and honing build pipelines in Gitlab - and learning lots about observability. The wider environment in which the product was developed was interesting to say the least. As such, that engagement has ended and I’m now moving on to become an employee of Tesco Bank.

What a time to change jobs, you might say. But actually, the wider context of lockdown has refined my thinking around this. I’ve been seeking a better work-life balance since becoming a father. Finishing at 5 when you’re working from home is brilliant. But finishing at 4:15 is much better.

It’s difficult to talk about anything else in the current COVID-19 crisis. Beyond saying that I’m not happy with how the UK Government has handled the situation (too little, too late, too confused), there’ll be time for reflection in the months to come. Within the software community we’re lucky that in the vast majority of cases home working is trivial, normalised and relatively straightforward. Ensuring that you move around the house, get some air and exercise and not consume vast amounts of chocolate is where I’m struggling! I also miss the sporadic social interactions - those off-chance kitchen conversations, or catching someone on their way to/from the train station. We’ve attempted to make up for this with social rooms on video chat software. It’s helpful, but not entirely like-for-like.

Finding things to distract you from the wider picture is also useful. A toddler is a prime example of a suitable distraction (luckily of an age where we don’t have to explain what’s going on), but the new Animal Crossing game on the Nintendo Switch and the backlog of wrestling videos have also provided useful crutches for temporarily escaping reality.

I set out to write something here, not with a particular focus in mind or an intended audience. The main message is that I’m still here, safe, healthy, working away and seeking to focus on the things that matter. Best wishes to you, dear reader.